|Commissioned by||Lead Executing Agency|
|German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)||Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)|
|Lead Implementing Agency||Duration|
|Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH||2021 - 2024|
Forest ecosystems play a significant role in our survival, apart from being a timber source. Water is a critical ecosystem services for sustaining life, and is amongst a wide array of other services from forests. Forests are intrinsically linked to water as forested watersheds and provide 75 percent of our accessible freshwater resources (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
Restoring degraded forest lands and maintaining forests to regulate stream flow will improve the accessibility of water resources. However, despite its importance, forest and agroforest management is not yet sufficiently oriented to integrate the forest ecosystem services (FES) approach.
Thus, the FES approach must be considered while making forest management decisions so that forests and agroforests are managed in sustainably and steered towards enhancing the flow of FES, especially water.
India is one of the countries most affected by climate change. According to a report by the state-owned think tank, National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), water supply from almost 50 percent sources in the Indian Himalayas is decreasing; partly due to climate change. Those strongly affected include the marginalised, and the forest and agro-forest resource dependant people, particularly women in rural areas who assume the foremost responsibility of family care.
The project is being implemented in four Indian states: Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It aims to strengthen forest and agroforest management to integrate the Forest Ecosystems (FES) approach with emphasis on water availability.
The orientation towards sustainability in the FES concept serves both directly to the sustainable availability and protection of natural resources. The project supports increased orientation of forest and agroforest management twoards FES, with a focus on water availability.
It also contributes to climate resilence since climate change is endangering the availability of ecosystem services.
Sustainably secured FES is a central prerequisite for the economic development of rural and mountainous areas in India and decisive for small-scale farming, the production of forest products and the tourism sector. Sustainable forest management for water has a positive impact on the availability and quality of water, on slope and soil stability, and biodiversity. It also has a positive impact on ecosystem services such as air quality, temperature stability and cultural assets i.e. cultural and religious values of nature.
The HIMFES project directly contributes to the SDG 15 Life on Land, especially to subgoal 15.2 "Sustainable Forest Management" and 15.4 "Conservation of Mountain Ecosystems".
All publications of this project can be accessed via the Resources section on this website
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